Russell L. Schweickart
Deborah L. Mackinnon
Kingston, Washington, USA
Philosopher and critic George Steiner said, “I believe that a work of art…can ask the most serious, difficult questions in a way which…challenges [the observer] and brings him into the argument.” Hopefully, this artwork advances Russell L. Schweickart’s argument that, “We aren’t residents on this planet, we’re citizens. The difference… is responsibility.”
While in space, astronauts perform tasks continually. Russell Schweickart, however, had five minutes suspended animation while a crew member fixed a camera. This quilt captures his reflections. The Earthrises on the quilt are hand painted yoyos on commercial batik. The bargello squares from commercial fabric have appliquéd fences capturing Schweickart’s observation, “…you become startling aware how artificial are thousands of boundaries we’ve created to separate and define.” A backstitch embroidery prints the quote square. And, the large earth square reflects Schweickart’s current work for B-612, a foundation committed to protecting the earth from asteroids.
As a retired literacy teacher, the simple techniques stem from the fact I’m entirely self-taught and only in my third year as a quilt artist. I hold memberships in The Appliqué Society of Port Gamble and Contemporary Quilt Arts. Shelly Nolte long arm quilted this piece using Circle Swirls by Anne Bright.
Isaac Newton quoted in a 1676 letter, “If I have seen farther, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” The work Russell L. Schweickart performed during his Apollo 9 mission allowed future astronauts to walk around on the surface of the moon. His thoughts resonate to this day.
Earthrises on the quilt are hand painted yoyos on commercial batik. The bargello squares from commercial fabric have appliquéd fences. A backstitch embroidery prints the quote square.
Commercial fabric, fabric paints, and special cording for picket fence. Black embroidery thread was used to backstitch the quote.